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Lesley Balding awarded Freedom of the City

Lesley Balding, Managing Director of London Link Property is deeply honoured to be award the ‘Freedom of the City’ in recognition of her community work and commitment.  

Leaving England at the age of 18 Lesley embarked on her 18 years of world travel.  During this time she based herself in Hong Kong establishing City Exchange, specialising in the property consultancy throughout Asia. With the development of London Docklands, Lesley returned to the UK in 1996 to established London Link Properties, a local independent Estate Agency based in Canary Wharf specialising in property sales and investments. Lesley has since been in property during the growth and development of the Docklands she gained a deep passion for the local area and community.
 
Since returning to London, Lesley has been very much involved with her local community as showcased in 2000 where she organised an extensive clean-up of the Limehouse Thames foreshore in conjunction with Thames21, which involved over 100 local resident volunteers. Lesley was also integral in fund raising for the installation of reed planting and wildlife habitat. Her hard work and environmental efforts were recognised and she was honoured to receive ‘The Queen Mother’s Birthday Award’.

The Limehouse Community Forum (LCF) was formed to bring the community together and promote community cohesion of which Lesley was a founding member and was elected Deputy Chair in 2016. The LCF is made up of representatives from estates, developments, organisations and businesses within the Limehouse area. By utilising this network they currently reach out and engage with the residents of the Limehouse Ward. The voluntary work of LCF includes addressing community issues, such as anti-social behaviour and establishing youth engagement programmes, local planning issues and community events.

A successful event as an outcome of the LCF is the Limehouse Festival, which was first held at St. Anne’s Church in 1986.  The festival has been organised by various community groups over the past 30 years.  In 2014 the LCF took on the challenge of organising the festival, which attracted record numbers with an attendance of 4,500 residents in 2015. The festival is of great importance to Limehouse which showcases and promotes local activities and businesses within the area. Lesley has taken a leading role in organising this event, utilising her life skills by heading up a wide range of activities such as fundraising and sponsorship, advertising, social media marketing, press liaison and website development, all of which were integral for a successful event.

In addition to her commitments highlighted above, Lesley also has a passion for animal welfare, in particular, dogs. Recognising a fast growing local dog population she launched ‘Canary Woof’. The Canary Woof Dog Show which is one of the main attractions of the Limehouse Festival is not only a fun event but also includes dog charities highlighting the good work they carry out in rescue and rehoming.